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96 Isuzu hombre 2.2L MFI crank, no start

Had hard start for month prior to dying. Died while driving down road. Started 2-3 times for around 20 seconds each time. Bad fuel pump & filter replaced both. Fuel pressure holds at 41 psi. Still no start. Replaced coil packs, plugs, wires, ICM, battery, CKP& FPR. Tested throttle position sensor. It’s good. Still crank with no start. Scanned with no codes coming back.
96 Isuzu hombre 2.2 MFI

Since your fuel pressure is ok, it’s pretty much got to be from among

  • no spark – check for a good healthy visual spark at the spark plugs during cranking
  • fuel injectors not getting pulsed – use a special test gadget called a ‘noid’ light . I think that is short for "solenoid light’, b/c the fuel injector pulses work by the principle of an electrical solenoid.
  • engine is flooded. – remove all spark plugs, disable fuel pump & ignition system and crank engine a bit to try to expel the gas, and let it sit for a couple days with the spark plugs out to let any remaining gasoline evaporate. Careful as any gasoline emitted during this is dangerous. I’ve had this flooding problem happen myself, and it can be a bugger to figure out that’s the problem. Wetness on the spark plug electrodes upon removal is a clue.

Faulty injectors, exhaust system clogs, low compression, head gasket problems are less likely, but should be considered too.

Thanks for that advice. I’m gonna start tomorrow with checking the plugs for spark and if it may be flooded. I’ll work on getting a hold of a noid light in the mean time. Then I’ll check back here and you know what i got.

Since it died while driving down the road, see if you can peek inside the hole you pour the oil to verify the camshaft is turning freely during cranking. Was it acting up at all before all this happened?

Hard starts or about a month before it died. It fired up 2-3 times afterwards for about 20 seconds each time. If not turning what would that mean? Broken timing chain/tensioner?

Also rough idle.

Yep. Hard start for about a month. The day it died it took about 10 tries to get it to start. Like it was starving for fuel. Was runny really rough too.

Well, you got some ideas where to start looking anyway. Let us know what turns up.

So, I did the spark test by hooking a cable from a plug wire with a spark plug in it to the negative battery terminal. After trying to crank it the spark plug had no spark. Where do I go from here?

Wow . . . !

You should hold the spark tester to an engine ground, NOT directly to the battery negative terminal

Not a spark tester. I put a spark plug into the plug wire. Cable from spark plug to neg battery terminal.

When you say you replaced the ICM, do you mean the igniter?

Igniter? I don’t think that’s the right terminology. GM calls it an ignition control module.

Anyway, checking for spark on that ignition system needs to be done at the coil and not at the end of a spark plug wire.

Nonetheless, with your inconclusive spark testing, it sounds like a typical failed fuel pump.

Sorry, didn’t see the part about already replacing the fuel pump and 41psi.

How many miles on the truck? Could be a timing chain slipped.

Nope. I mean the ignition control module. Replaced when the truck died. It’s been a few months but the truck hasn’t started since then.

I feel like it may have been something I did when I replaced the plugs, wires, ICM and CKP. the initial problem was the bad fuel pump. Though from what I understand the symptoms are pretty much the same. That why I replaced all that stuff.

So fuel pump is good. Filter is new. Tested for spark and had no spark.

One thing is certain, no spark, no start. No Isuzu experience, but I’ve never had an ambiguous result using the same method you did, a spare spark plug connected to a spark plug wire, and holding the body of the plug against an engine ground while cranking. Either I see a nice blue-white spark or I don’t. So I suspect you indeed actually have no spark happening for some reason. You could confirm this by doing the same test with all the plug wires, one at a time. Until you figure out why no spark, no need to bother with any other speculations why it won’t start.

BTW, as a safety note, suggest not to hold the spark plug anywhere near the battery when doing this test, as the spark can ignite gasses emitted from the battery and cause an explosion. Something you definitely don’t want.

So what could cause a cranks ok, but no-spark at the spark plug problem?

  • Crank position not being sensed. However that is done on your Hombre, crank position sensor at the flywheel or the camshaft or inside the distributor, that engine phase position sensing function might not be working.
  • Bad coil or igniter.
  • Bad distributor.
  • ECM isn’t sending the “ignite” signal.

I believe the Isuzu Hombre is a relabeled Chevy S10 . . . ?

Yes it is.

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